- 1 hours
- Social and Emotional Skills
6Schedule 12/04/20 08:00 AM Virtual Pit Pit is a fast-paced card game designed to simulate open outcry bidding for commodities. If you are familiar with this classic game, be aware that we don’t necessarily play by the rules, as written. We use the game as a way for students to learn about trade and simple negotiations https://teacheverywhere.org/activity/virtual-pit/Print
Pit is a fast-paced card game designed to simulate open outcry bidding for commodities. If you are familiar with this classic game, be aware that we don’t necessarily play by the rules, as written. We use the game as a way for students to learn about trade and simple negotiations and focus on the economic principle of comparative advantage. Included is the link to the virtual Pit set-up. This particular lesson only includes instructions for 3 basic rounds of Pit. Warning – once you’ve played Pit, students will want to play it all the time!
This activity was developed and submitted by YE educator Jose Garcia!
- Share with students that today they will be playing a game called Pit. Prepare yourself, because this fast-paced trading game is a lot of fun but can seem a little overwhelming at first. There will be multiple rounds, and the more you play, the better you will catch on.
Social and Emotional Skills
- Students participating in this activity love the thrill of this game! That feeling of urgency, excitement, and adrenaline rush. These are all impulses or things they are feeling inside of their bodies that lend naturally well to how Pit can be used to help students practice Self-Management. When they are feeling excited and impulsive, students will recognize through debrief that they may have made poor decisions or missed trading opportunities because of their behaviors. Students will also learn to make the connection for how they manage their stress will directly impact their goals (i.e. in this game to get all cards that are the same to sell assets and earn more money).
- The second SEL core competency students are practicing is Self-Awareness. Much like when the students are recognizing how to manage their inner emotions, they will also practice identifying what those inner emotions are and recognizing what senses the emotions bring to the surface when they happen. For some students, the feeling of excitement and urgency will help them to act with more focus and determination; for others, the opposite will happen. During activities like PIT, students will become more aware of which bucket they fall into as well as recognizing other strengths and assets they bring to the activities.
- Determine how you will share the activity with your students.
- NOTE: The amount of time needed is adaptable but allow for 60 minutes the first time. You can play Pit for as long as the students are willing to trade. You want to watch your time while you are going through the rounds of trading. Make sure you leave enough time at the end to debrief. Once students have had the introduction to the game, individual rounds of play can be used throughout the year as standalone lessons/bell-ringer/or activities to get the students up and moving.
- Review the activity instructions and watch the video instructions. Virtual Pit relies on the playingcards.io website. It allows custom card designs, custom decks, multiple decks, table backgrounds, online multiplayer, and widgets to assist in playing the game.
- Make sure you are familiar with the game as well as the talking points. You may even want to test it out with family or colleagues first to get the feel of how Pit works virtually.
- If you would like to see how Pit is played in person, check out the videos on YEAcademy.org.
- Prior to beginning, visit http://playingcards.io/ and select custom game. Then download the Virtual Pit table file and import it into the platform.
- Decide how you would will debrief with students following the activity.
- Begin by asking for eight volunteers who have webcams.
- Send each of the volunteers a link to the game with an imported Virtual Pit game file.
- Share your screen to show the class the virtual game.
- Let each of the volunteers know that they will have a stack of 8 cards that are theirs. It is important that they understand that their set of cards is theirs to do with what they want. They can trade with others in the class as they choose. The goal is to acquire eight cards with the same number – For example, acquire eight cards of the number “5”. If they get eight of the same cards, they will place them in the “SELL HERE” area and you will pay them the face value on those cards. For example, if they acquire eight cards with the number “5”, they will earn 5 YE dollars. This is how they can “create wealth”.
- Note – you may need to start with a lower amount the first time such as 4 of a kind as opposed to 8 as a practice round.
- Be sure to explain the interface of the game and allow time for participants to play around and understand which cards are there, how to move the cards, etc. before beginning.
- Click the deal button to make 8 stacks of 8.
- Direct each player to take a stack one at a time by dragging from the number 8 to their secret area at the bottom of the screen. In this space only they can see their cards.
- Show them how they can place, show and move cards on the table.
- There is a safe-no trade area and a trade area with circles and a sell area.
Activity Round 1
- Once participants have a basic understanding of the platform, tell them they will have 5 minutes to make a set of 8 like cards. They are free to trade with any one of the other players they may trade as many times as they wish. However, (pause for dramatic effect) they MAY NOT TALK OR CHAT. As soon as someone has made a set of 8 like cards the MUST yell “PIT”, move their cards to the “SELL HERE” area and the game is over. That person will get paid the face value of those cards. Only one person can win in this round.
Activity Round 1 Debrief
- If you have a “winner” in this round, check their cards and pay them via whatever EdTech platform you chose. Then click the recall and shuffle button. At this point, you can discuss a few things with your students. Below are some sample questions you might consider asking. What you discuss during your debrief will depend on what happens during the round.
- Who traded?
- How did they decide who they traded with?
- What did they trade?
- How did they decide what to trade?
- Did anyone NOT trade? Why didn’t they trade?
- Was it easy to trade? Why or why not?
- What would have made it easier?
- Who is “wealthier” now than they were before the game?
- What could we do to create more wealth?
- The discussion should have led to the students realizing that the ability to communicate, have more than one “winner,” and a larger market would allow for more wealth creation. This would be a good time to ask if they would like to play another round. Also, ask if everyone being allowed to play would be a good idea. They will probably say YES!
Activity Round 2
- Tell students that during this round you will allow everyone to enter the marketplace if they choose. (You can point out that this decision was based on their suggestion or your desire to create more wealth.) You can also allow them to talk to one another. (Again, let them know this decision to change the rules was based on the class discussion about what could potentially create more wealth.)
- Share the same link again with the whole class. You will want to make sure you click on the recall and shuffle button before starting. Make sure students are familiar with the interface before beginning.
Pro-Tip: You might consider having students “own” the green numbers with circles to help with trading. You could also wait and see if it happens organically.
- Students will each receive one set of 8 random cards. They will have 8 minutes to trade with anyone in the class. When they have a set of 8 like cards they can sell their set by moving their cards to the “SELL HERE” area. After 8 minutes, tell students the market is closed. Pay all those who have made sets of 8 like cards. (Make sure you move the completed sets to the “sold cards” area.) If they did not complete their set, they should keep their cards.
Pro Tip: for larger classes, you may consider having more than one game happening at a time. If trying this route, consider having a student or colleague help you run the other group.
Activity Round 2 Debrief
- Possible discussion questions after round 2.
- Who traded during this round?
- How did you decide what to trade?
- What was different this round compared to the first round?
- Was it better or worse than the first round? Why?
- Who is wealthier now than they were before the round?
- What could we do to create more wealth?
- This again should lead to a discussion about the marketplace and opportunity. This round they were only allowed to sell one set and then they were done. They were only allowed to have one random set to begin with. If they are allowed to continue to trade and make more sets of like cards, they will be able to continue to create wealth.
- Make sure to pay everyone who completed their sets.
Activity Round 3
- During this round, students can either use the cards they have left from the previous round or buy more set of 8 cards for 3 YE dollars each. You can deal new cards from your stack. If you need additional cards, take them from the sold cards and distribute them in the stacks.
- When the round begins, they are free to continue trading as they were before. Additionally, they can buy more sets to enable them to trade more. They will also have the opportunity to sell as many sets of 8 like cards as they can make in the 8-minute round to continue to create wealth.
Activity Round 3 Debrief
- *If you are done playing, use the final debrief questions below. If you continue playing, continue to observe student behaviors to determine what debrief questions to ask.
Students can complete the debrief in many ways. Some options include on paper, in a group setting via any virtual call platform, or by recording their feedback using EdTech tools and sharing with their classmates.
Again, what you discuss during your sessions will be based on what happens while you are playing the game. Make sure you pay attention to what your students are doing while they are playing. What their behaviors were, listen to their negotiations, observe their non-verbals, etc.
- What did you see happening during the rounds?
- Did any student(s) not participate? Find out why not. Discuss the concept of “freedom to enter and compete” – What were the tradeoffs of not participating?
- What kinds of negotiations were happening? Did anyone sell individual Pit cards for YE dollars? Were people creating partnerships? What about deals based on credit (“I’ll give you this card but when you sell the deck I want X”)?
- How did you decide what to trade? Comparative advantage, opportunity to build wealth, opportunity cost, sunk cost
- What improved the marketplace for buyers and sellers?
- Did anyone trade using negative tactics (stealing, backing out of agreed-upon deals, etc.)? What consequences did this behavior have? Discuss virtuous cycles of mutual benefit and it plays a role in trading.
- What effect did scarcity have on the marketplace? Scarcity of time? Scarcity of funds? Scarcity of attention?
- Did cartels/partnerships form?
- Did you change strategies from round to round? Why?
- How is this similar to the real world?
- How did the virtual nature of this activity present challenges? How could these challenges be viewed as opportunities?
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